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ASU Women’s Basketball: Arizona Preview

Round Two

Richard Martinez/ House of Sparky

After coming off their second Pac-12 weekend sweep in a row, the No. 16 Arizona State Sun Devils (15-4, 5-2 Pac-12) will head to Tucson to face the team down south, the No. 18 University of Arizona Wildcats (15-3, 4-3).

The Sun Devils are coming off wins against Washington and Washington State and are riding a five-game win streak after knocking the then No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Oregon State two weeks ago.

The Wildcats also took a trip up to Washington and came back with two wins. They have been ranked all season.

Here’s some more details about this weekend’s rivalry matchup:

What Time/Where To Watch

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. MST and can be seen on Pac-12 Network.

Players To Watch

Two players that showed the Sun Devils trouble last time around were sophomore forward Cate Reese and junior guard Aari McDonald.

McDonald fouled out within one minute remaining last game, but still ended the game with 20 points. She had 44 points in a game earlier this season against Texas, and averages 20 points per game.

Reese had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the last meeting, and is coming off a season-high 26 points against Washington State last weekend. Reese leads the team in rebounds with 101 defensive rebounds.

These are Arizona’s top scorers, as they lead the team in points. Containing them will be key for the Sun Devils Friday night.

Series History

The last time these two teams faced each other was on December 29, 2019. Arizona took home the win 58-53 and that meant that the Sun Devils’ 19-game win streak in Tempe against the Wildcats was over.

Since 2000, the Sun Devils have the upper hand in the series, with a 30-9 record overall. However, this weekend will be a test for them since they are 9-7 on the road against the Wildcats and it is reported a big crowd will be in attendance.

Comments on upcoming game

Charli Turner Thorne:

“I really feel like they feel like they didn’t play well either. I don’t think either team did. We certainly didn’t execute our game plan on either side of the floor and we missed shots. I think the atmosphere is going to be amazing. It’s going to be fun. I think this team has really grown since then in terms of we’re not afraid of the moment and gotten tougher and we can take punches. It’s going to come down to executing.”

There have been reports that there could be a crowd over 10,000 in McKale Center Friday night. Here were her thoughts:

“I know that my veterans are fairly unaffected. I think they like it. Not to say anything negative, but that’s more fun than if you’re in a gym where we just played and there’s no energy in the gym. We’ll obviously try to keep them quiet, but it’ll be good.”

Ja’Tavia Tapley’s comments about Friday’s game:

“To focus on our game plan and focus on the things we should’ve been focusing on the first time we played them. We need to work on a couple things from the last game, which we have now. I feel like we’ll come in more focused, working on the controllable. We let a lot of things get to us last time, but we’re not going to let that happen this time.”

On potential crowd of over 10,000 people:

“That’ll be great. That’s exciting. I’ll be ready. That pumps me up every time we get to play against a big crowd. It gives you a better reason to play as hard as you can. It gives you energy.”

Other Notes

This will be the first time both teams will be facing each other ranked. Arizona State coming in at No. 16 and Arizona at No. 18.